How to dance low
Power, facials, energy – everything .You probably can name a few dancers who “go awff.” You’re blown away by them every time they perform.
Well, we’re here to tell you that YOU can train to dance bigger, stronger, and more full-out, too! Follow these 9 tips to take your energy from 0 to 100!
You don’t necessarily have to get HUGE in order to dance huge.
Size is not a determining factor in how powerfully you can execute. (I mean, have you seen Sorah dance?!)
What is necessary is strength.
Work out to give yourself more power and control when you dance. #Gainz, breh.
You don’t dance big by being big. You dance big by being strong.
So lift some weights, do some push-ups, hold some planks, and build your strength!
Stretch it out
You can dance bigger by filling out each movement completely.
This means using your body’s full range of motion.
Make this easier by stretching regularly.
It’s best to warm up your body with some cardio before you dance, then do a longer stretching routine afterwards.
Being more flexible will set start and end points of your movements further apart, making your movements larger.
See Related Video: Stretching For Dancers | Dancers IRL | STEEZY Original
Practice like you’re performing
“Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That’s why we train so hard.”
– U.S. Navy
What the U.S. Navy is saying is – practice like you’re performing.
Once you get on stage (or even in groups) there is no magic dance God that takes over, making you kill the piece...
If you’ve been half-@$$ing it the whole time while learning.
So when you mark a piece, still maintain the execution that you want.
The only reason you’re not giving full power would be to pay more attention to something else, like watching the choreographer, listening to the music, or looking around to set formations.
But if you’re doing a run-through of the piece, take advantage of each chance you have to do it exactly how you want it to look.
Use your core!
It may surprise you, but movement starts from your core.
Even if it’s your arm or neck – it all comes from the tumtumz.
For example, when you're reaching with your arm, you can extend that reach by reaching from the shoulder.
And you can extend that reach by shifting your torso toward the direction of the reach.
So if you want to dance bigger and more powerfully without looking sloppy, tighten your core!
Not only will it make your movements bigger, but they will also be more strong because the base of your movement is so firmly rooted.
See Related Article: How To Execute Choreography Better By Using Your Body
Don’t flick da wrists
Even if you are dancing super big and strong, the effect can get lost by something really really small. .. like limp wrists.
This is a habit that a lot of dancers have. Their arms make clean pictures… then it breaks right at the wrists! Ughh.
To combat this, channel your energy allll way through your fingertips!
This will ensure that your strength is being distributed in your whole arm without interruption.
And this will make your movements look bigger and more complete.
Focus on focus
Your head and eyes are a part of the picture you’re making with your body, too! Really important parts!
Not only can it look awkward if you’re constantly looking down or at the mirror, but it will also cut off your projection.
And dancing BIG is all about projecting UP AND OUT.
Lift your chin up – especially if you’re performing for a bigger audience.
And if the movements in a piece call for you to look a certain direction, commit to it!
This doesn’t mean “look with your eyeballs.” It means “look with your whole face.”
It will make the move looks more natural, and it will help guide whoever’s watching.
The audience looks at what you look at.
If you’re reaching to the right and looking right at your arm, their focus will follow yours instead of watching you from straight ahead and noticing a single arm sticking out.
Wear loose-fitting clothes
Although it has been consistently over 80 degrees in Los Angeles, you’ll never see me dancing in a tank top.
I prefer to dance in loose-fitting long sleeves.
It’s not because I enjoy sweating, but because it really does help create the illusion of bigger movement.
Our fashion trends have evolved over the years. We went from Wal-Mart sweats and giant cut-out tees to compression pants, leggings, and sports bras.
And there’s nothing wrong with that!
But it still feels so good to just put on a huge sweater or baggy sweats and go HAM with all that extra fabric to add extra effect. HIP HOP.
Remember your dead limbs
When you’re dancing, your entire body is dancing. What does that mean?
Even if you’re isolating one body part and the rest of your body is stationary, that doesn’t mean you just forget about it your “unmoving” parts of your body.
For example, for a “right arm iso” move, I find myself putting all my strength into my right arm, while my left arm just flippity flops all over the darn place.
Dead and floppy limbs can distract people from what you actually want them to see.
Instead of paying attention to select body parts, create a whole picture with your whole body – including the “dead” parts of it!
This will make your movements look bigger and be more impactful!
Commit to your moves
Committing to your movements makes a huge difference in your performance. It makes everything more purposeful, effective, and entertaining.
But commitment is hard without confidence. Killin’ a piece first requires for you to believe that you can!
See Related Article: How To Dance With More Confidence
Put on your game face, crack your knuckles, give yourself a pep talk, and KILL IT!
We hope this helped you get an edge on your full-out training grind! We can’t wait to see you go awff in the next class.
10 Basic Dance Moves Anyone Can Learn
Do you ever watch someone dance and wonder how they come up with moves so easily?
Great dancers often master a specific set of moves that they can fall back on again and again.
Read on for 10 basic dance moves you can learn in minutes and use every time you wanna dance.
P.S. You can learn all of these moves for FREE on STEEZY Studio! No cc required. 😉
1. The Two-Step
When I first started dancing at parties, the Two-Step was the first move that truly came naturally to me.
It really is as simple as stepping from side to side to the beat!
If you're looking for something foolproof that allows you to just groove and enjoy the music...
Boom. Here it is.
2. The Monestary
This move was born in a club called Monestary out in St. Louis!
It’s built on a Two-Step, so if you took that class, you’ve already got a foundation for the footwork.
But rather than bringing your feet together, you’ll tap them to the front with your knee and foot turned inward.
Then, as you tap the feet, you’ll move your arms and shoulders in a circular movement.
3. Booty Pop (Side To Side)
Like the Woah, this sexy move is super TikTok-friendly – but with more feminine energy.
To do a booty pop to the side, you’re gonna bend your knees, put your hands on one knee, and then bring the other leg from bent to straight while turning your knee inward.
If you’re a long-haired baddie, be sure to keep all your hair on one side so it doesn’t flop in your face as you pop!
Read this article on How To Dance Sexy to get more tips on pulling off moves like this one!
4. The Billy Bounce
Surprise – this club-ready move is built on… a bounce!
But what makes it unique is that your knees will come inward on each bounce rather than just up and down.
Once you’ve got the funky lil knee bounce down, you’ll add in an upward kick on each side.
The best thing about this move is that while the footwork takes a few minutes to learn, you don’t necessarily need to add an arm movement to make it look cool.
Just keep your arms front and center.
5. The Woah
Even if you’re not actively involved in the dance community, you’ve probably seen people hitting the Woah – on TikTok, Reels... all over your newsfeed!
Whether you wanna make a viral video of your own, or you’re just looking for a fun, basic dance move to pull out at the clerb, this one is too good not to learn.
Since the locking arm motion is so sharp and pronounced, use the Woah to accent the heaviest bass beats in your favorite songs.
6. The Dougie
Yes, the Dougie is a real dance move!
Like the Two-Step, you’ll be shifting your weight from side to side, but this time, adding some shoulder movements and a lil more attitude.
Try this one out to some songs other than the one that made it famous – you’ll find it works with any hype beat.
7. Scoop Arm Into Hip Sway
Sooo this one is more of combo than a move, but it only takes a few minutes to learn and it works with any fun sassy song…
So it deserves to be here, ok?!
For this move, you’re gonna scoop your arm across your chest, then bring it over your head, and finally point it in front of your chest.
Once you point the arm in front of you, you’ll sway your hips from side to side and groove it out.
8. The Bust Down
The Bust Down was popularized by LA rapper, Blueface, in his 2019 club jam “Thotiana”.
You’re gonna grab your belt, put one arm in the air, and allow your body to dip with the beat.
Note: Licking your eyebrows like Blueface is fun, but not required. 😛
9. The Biz Markie
The Biz Markie is an old school party dance inspired by, you guessed it, rapper Biz Markie!
It rose to popularity in the 90s, when Biz Markie himself began performing it on stage.
As you practice it, remember to allow your shoulders to bounce – the bounce is what gives this move its cool, laidback flavor.
Wanna learn more about classic Hip Hop moves? Read this: How To Dance Hip Hop for Beginners
10. The Humpty
For this bouncy move, you’re gonna circle your hips to one side as your bend your knees.
Then, you’ll jump and cross your legs, allowing your feet to tap the floor briefly before you jump back to your original legs apart position.
Once you’ve got that down, you can complete the move by adding in a windmill motion with your arms.
The leg cross in this move makes it perfect for any Hip Hop song that features a double bass (aka that BOOM BOOM sound that you hear in songs like “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama)
We hope you enjoyed learning some of our favorite basic dance moves.
Of course, this list is just a start!
In addition to the 10 moves on this list, STEEZY Studio has 100+ other FREE beginner classes where you can learn step-by-step from the world’s best teachers.
What To Read Next:
30-Minute Dance Workouts That'll Trick You Into Becoming A Better Dancer
How To Learn Popping
How To Start Dancing Hip Hop For Beginners
How To Learn Dance At Home
What does Flex mean? How to learn how to flex your arms and legs correctly
Today you can find many different incomprehensible words on the Internet and in the speech of young people. Mostly they are based on English words, as this language is now popular all over the world. Sometimes the word takes on an unrecognizable form. And therefore it cannot be translated into either Russian or English in order to get an accurate translation and understand the meaning. Today we will learn what it means to flex in the jargon and how to learn how to flex with your hands and feet correctly.
- How did the word “flex” come about and what does it mean?
- What is "low flex" or "low flex"
- How to learn to dance with hands and feet
- History of dance
- Correct flexing movements
How did the word "flex" come about and what does it mean?
The word "flex" still has not changed beyond recognition. Therefore, you can define its English ancestor - the word "flexible".
What does “flexible” mean in Russian. The word has already passed to us in the form of slang from American teenagers . In America, it meant "to show off", "to show something off", "to show off in public".
There is a dictionary on the English Internet that can explain a lot of incomprehensible words from youth slang - https://www.urbandictionary.com/.
Quite often people argue about the meaning of a given word. And often both sides are right, since it has more than one meaning.
To better understand what “flexing” is and understand this issue, read this article to the end. There are other obscure words in youth slang. For example, CHSV - read what it is.
In the CIS, the word "flex" is used in several meanings at once. It is often used by musical performers and lovers of dancing and moving to cool music. In the meaning of "let's flex today" it means "swing to the beat", "moving rhythmically to the beat of the music. " There is even a new dance style - Flexing .
It includes several styles at once. Characterized by flexible movements, sometimes reminiscent of chaos .
What is "low flex" or "low flex"
There is also the expression "low flex", which in many ways is similar to the phrase "cheap show off". Used to address a person who failed to make a proper impression on the public. For example, his income is not enough to show off . Or his "cheap market" clothes. Often, among those who are just starting to understand all these new slangs, a completely logical question arises, why not just say - "putting out"?
After all, this is really simpler and more understandable than any foreign words there. But show off, unfortunately, is the basis for creating the creativity of rappers and other musical performers. Teenagers quickly adopt the speech of their idols and try to use it in everyday life. This, it seems to them, gives reason to consider themselves ahead of the rest. And a new word, as a rule, in the English manner is more interesting. Since it is a show off multiplied by a show off.
Sometimes the phrase "low flex" is used when dancers are doing dance moves near the floor. That is - low dance . Often such a performance can be seen in the performance of the vocalist at the time of the completion of the musical composition. To increase the visual effect of your performance .
How to learn to dance with your hands and feet
All teenagers want to follow fashion trends and not only. Therefore, the Internet is filled with questions about how to learn how to flex correctly. After all, everyone knows how to do it wrong - just twirl the rhythm of the music with their hands and feet. But in fact, most dance styles are free. All you have to do is stick to the beat, choose the right song and look at some examples . Watching a lesson from a professional is quite difficult. Because there are very few of them.
Before any body movements, you need to warm up properly. Sprains, dislocations and bruises are constant companions of dancers. Then you need to decide on the music that is suitable for this dance.
To learn what it is to flex and learn how to do it correctly with your hands and feet, get acquainted with songs and creativity:
These songs are perfect for dance practice. To see the movements with your own eyes, you can open YouTube and find a suitable teacher yourself. On video hosting - a large number of lessons. You will also have a large selection of dance performers. If you don't like one, open the search and find another. Everything is quite simple.
The history of dance
The history of dance begins in Brooklyn (New York), several communities connected to the borough. Flexing performers perform sinuous movements of the arms and legs to the rhythm of the music, which features reggae . Also, this dance includes several well-known movements: tetting bone, breaking, waving, gliding. Flexing dancers often wear a cap to make their performance more spectacular.
And they take off their T-shirts, moving to the beat of the music with a bare torso. The performers of the new dance direction are called Flexers.
Hip-hop music is most often selected for Flexing. But the dance was not invented in the hip-hop culture. It was created based on the already existing Jamaican street style. Which has its own name "Bruk Up" or in English: Bruk Up. The latter requires reggae or dancehall music to be realized. For the first time, Flexing is mentioned in events: The LXD, America's Best Dance Crew. Also on YouTube Play.
If you are interested in more information about the origins of the dance and other details on this topic, check out the pages:
See also: what does chi mean yes?
The correct movements of Flexing
To understand the Flexing dance as closely as possible and learn interesting movements, you can watch a video on YouTube.
In it, several dark-skinned young people demonstrate elements of the newfangled dance. These guys attended the events linked above. The video demonstrates some movements for which serious preparation is needed. For example, an element with a dislocated arm or a trick with caps .
In the video above, young performers demonstrate Flexing at the aforementioned The LXD event. We can see that even video editing can be involved in Flexing. This creates a truly amazing spectacle.
The dance is quite free, as you can find cases on the net where it is mixed with artistic forms, and also danced by the group . It does not have a certain framework and the exact number of dancers.
Although there are several fundamental principles of dance. Flexing has absorbed such characteristic features as flexibility, rhythm. If you follow the dancers, you will see that their movements involve more arms and legs. Elements can be circular or translational. Or even vague, but they should follow the rhythm of the music and look impressive accordingly.
Flexing is sometimes understood as an impromptu dance. Or a dance without any recognizable movement technique. Many popular dance clubs today will not teach you this dance. Since they do not have data about in which direction they need to work. Perhaps it depends on the fact that the dance is just starting to become popular. But in the future, you will definitely be able to turn to professionals to find out what Flexing is. And learn how to move (flex) with your legs and arms correctly.
Published in rubric "Interesting"
Argentine Tango Beginner's Guide
March 08, 2008
Welcome to Argentine Tango
Argentine tango has thrilled dancers for over 100 years. Tango is loved by dancers and audiences for its beauty, passion, drama and excitement. Learning how to dance social tango is based on improvising the movements and respecting your partner and other dancers on the dance floor. The essence of Argentine tango in life and especially in the relationship between a man and a woman. Graciela Gonzales, a leading tango teacher, calls the dance "a three-minute love story." This guide offers a brief overview of the history of tango, what to expect in class, the different types of tango danced at parties, the music, and tango etiquette. Also included are useful terms, a beginner's checklist, and some resources available on the web.
Tango yesterday and today
The exact origins of tango - both the dance and the word itself - are lost in myth and unrecorded history. According to the generally accepted theory, in the mid-1800s, African slaves brought to Argentina began to influence the local culture. The word "tango" may be of direct African origin, meaning "closed place" or "reserved ground". Or it may have come from Portuguese (and from the Latin verb tanguere, to touch) and was used by Africans on slave ships. Whatever its origin, the word "tango" has become the standard for a place where African slaves and free blacks gather to dance.
Argentina was subject to massive immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1869 the population of Buenos Aires was 180,000. By 1914 its population was 1.5 million. The mixing of Africans, Spaniards, Italians, British, Poles, Russians and native Argentines resulted in a mixing of cultures, all borrowing dances and music from each other. Traditional polkas, waltzes and mazurkas were mixed with the popular habanera from Cuba and candombe rhythms from Africa.
Most of the immigrants were single men hoping to make money in this expanding country. They were usually poor and desperate and hoped to earn enough money to return to Europe or bring their families to Argentina. The development of tango reflects the deep meaning of their loss and longing for the people and places they left behind.
Most likely, tango was born at Afro-Argentinean dance parties attended by compadritos, young people, mostly born poor, who liked to wear fedoras, loosely tie neck scarves, wear high-heeled boots and knives casually tucked into their belts. The Compadritos brought the tango to Corrales Viejos - the slaughterhouse district of Buenos Aires - and introduced it to the various entertainments of the poor with dancing: bars, dance halls and brothels. It was here that African rhythms met Argentine milonga (fast-paced polka) music, and soon new steps were invented and taken up.
And while high society looked down on what was happening on the outskirts, the rich sons of the oligarchs of Buenos Aires did not shy away from visiting the slums. Eventually everyone learned about tango and, by the early twentieth century, tango, both as a dance and as an embryonic form of popular music, had established a firm foothold in the rapidly growing city of its birth. It soon spread to the provincial towns of Argentina and across the Plate River to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, where it became as big a part of urban culture as it was in Buenos Aires.
The international spread of tango began in the early 1900s when wealthy sons of Argentine families arrived in Paris and introduced tango to a society that was eager for novelty and not entirely averse to the risky nature of the dance or dancing with young wealthy Latinos. By 1913 tango had become an international phenomenon in Paris, London and New York. There were tango teas, tango sightseeing trains, and even tango colors that looked more like orange. The Argentine elite, shunning the tango, were forced to embrace it with national pride.
Throughout the world, tango spread during the 1920s and 1930s. The dance appeared in movies and tango singers traveled the world. By the 1930s, Argentina's Golden Age had begun. The country became one of the ten richest countries in the world and music, poetry and culture flourished. Tango became a fundamental expression of Argentine culture and the Golden Age continued throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
The well-being of tango has always been tied to economic conditions, and this was very true in 1950s. During this time when the politics of repression were developing, the lyrics reflected political sentiments until they began to be banned as subversive. Dance with music went underground as most dance venues were closed and large gatherings were banned altogether. Tango has survived in small, undisclosed meeting places and in the hearts of people.
The need to go underground, combined with the possible intrusion of rock and roll, led to the decline of tango until the mid-1980s, when the Tango Argentino show opened in Paris. Once again, Paris became the starting point for igniting the wave of tango around the world. The show toured all over the world and spurred a revival in Europe, North America and Japan, of which we are a part today.
Argentine tango basics
Argentine tango is an improvisational dance built from four elements: steps, turns, stops and embellishments. The dance is like a puzzle that is put together differently each time. Women and men bring their own styles and embellishments to the dance, which contribute greatly to an exhilarating and unpredictable experience. Even though the dancers follow certain conventions, they never know exactly how the dance will be structured, decorations added, or music interpreted. The unexpectedness possible in dancing is what makes dancing so exciting. It really gets two people into the tango because the dance is not just about the man leading and the woman following. Both partners have something to invest - as in a good conversation.
Tango is danced counter-clockwise, just like racing. The dancers try to stay on the outer edges of the hall away from the center. If you look at the tango dance floor from above, you will see the movements of the dancers like a descending river, flowing smoothly and sometimes stopping to spin in a shallow whirlwind.
Is Argentine tango the same as ballroom tango?
No. They have common roots, but the place, time and nature of the development of dances separated them. International ballroom tango is very different from social tango in Argentina. Argentine tango differs from ballroom tango in terms of position, embrace, improvisation, movement, balance, steps, and music. It is completely different from the top of your head to the bottom of the soles of the shoes you use to dance it.
If you have ballroom tango experience, think of Argentine tango as a completely new dance, not as an extension of what you already know.
Is Argentine tango a stage dance?
Quite a few people are interested in dancing tango because they have seen a tango show. The tango you see on stage is related to social tango, but very different from it. Stage tango is called "fantasy" and is more theatrical and exaggerated than social tango for the simple reason that the audience must be able to see the performance from the back row.
Watching a performance is a great opportunity to see tango, and (hopefully) hear a live tango orchestra. Once you hear bandoneon live, you will never forget it.
Tango classes attendance
When you start learning tango, attending a class is the best way to get your bearings on the dance. Sign up and visit regularly. All the good dancers I know are good because they signed up for the first series of classes and attended them all. Learning how to dance the tango is a wonderful commitment you make to yourself, and consistency is as important to that goal as it is to anyone else in your life. Enrolling and attending one class a month here and there will only frustrate you.
A good tango class should introduce you to the following elements of tango: step, turn, stop, navigation, musicality, and some embellishments. Tango is a dance based on steps, so you must practice this essential element. The good news is that if you already know how to walk, you only need to practice the movement with a partner. All great tango dancers work on their step. In fact, one of the best praise a tango dancer can receive is, "Look how well he's going!" No matter how experienced the students are, I have never seen a good tango teacher start a class without step exercises.
Once you've "walked your miles", you'll learn how to turn around, how to momentarily stop on the floor, how to navigate a crowded room, how to listen to and learn different types of tango music, and how to add your own signature to the dance in the form of embellishments. Since tango is an improvisational dance, you should also pay attention to this aspect of the dance. Tango is a dance that you create on the fly with another person. It is not memorizing a sequence of steps that is repeated every time. Improvisation is one of the most beautiful aspects of tango and is what makes the dance endlessly interesting.
Do I need a partner?
You don't need a partner to start learning to dance the tango. There are always loads of people taking classes and not everyone usually comes with a partner. In my experience, most come without a partner. If the class has a gender imbalance, the teacher can ask people to change each other and so everyone has a chance to learn. Don't let the absence of a partner stand in your way of learning.
If you are lucky enough to live in the city with at least one tango teacher, give them a try. They can be your first guides to the world of tango. In addition to teaching classes, local teachers usually help organize (or know about) seminars with visiting teachers. If there is more than one teacher in your city, take a few classes from all of them. Visit their practices and dances. See whose teaching and dancing style you like and whose teaching method is right for you. In my experience, the best tango teachers are the ones who bring out the best in you rather than trying to make you fit into their particular style (which is usually quite interesting to them). If you feel that the class is friendly, it might be right for you.
If a local teacher is not available, there are many videos available to study. If this is your case, then you will need a study partner. Even if you learn by video, I recommend traveling occasionally to take classes (group or private) and attend dances to experience dancing with other people. You can learn a lot from videos, but real hands-on experience is indispensable.
Once you are comfortable with the important elements of tango, you may want to attend (in your own city or elsewhere) special workshops that provide an opportunity to meet and learn from some of the world's best professional dancers. In addition, several week-long workshops held in Argentina or anywhere else in the world offer an incredible chance to combine travel with tango learning.
Teachers come for many reasons. Find out in advance from local organizers or dancers if the teaching style and level of dance experience expected in the class is right for you. If visiting teachers offer classes for beginners, check them out. You never know who will provide the correct information to give a clear understanding.
At the beginning of your study of tango, you will probably take seminars from as many different teachers as you can. Over time, however, you will find that certain instructors have a style of teaching and/or dance that suits your inclinations, and you will likely narrow down the number of people you learn from. You have an amazing variety of teachers and places to dance in - the whole world.
Private lessons with local or visiting teachers are a great way to have someone evaluate and recommend your own dance. When a teacher can practice your dance without having to look at 40 other people at the same time, you can really learn a lot more. One hour of a private lesson with a great dancer can save you hours of frustration and help you avoid painful mistakes - both emotional and physical.
My recommendation for spending your money on private lessons is: (1) start taking group classes to see if you like tango, (2) attend a group class for at least two months to get the basics right, and (3) attend milongas (tango parties) and dance for hours. Once you've done these things, look around and see if there's a local teacher you'd like to take a private lesson with. Or perhaps a visiting teacher will arrive with whom you would like to study. Most visiting teachers give private lessons in addition to any seminars they give. Keep in mind that different teachers may have different requirements for private lessons (like the requirement to come with a partner) and they can be very limited in delivery.
If you don't have a local instructor, going to a private lesson will be the only way to get personal feedback. Here my recommendations are slightly different. Search the Internet for local teachers nearby or for teachers who can teach a seminar in the city you are interested in attending. Talk to everyone you can about their recommendations as to whether the teachers are suitable for beginners, their style, etc. Tango dancers love to talk about tango, so don't hesitate to call or email someone. Then plan some private lessons spread over several days. Don't try to pack too many things into one day - your brain needs time to figure it out and your muscles need time to assimilate new moves.
One word of caution about private lessons. Beware of teachers who force you to take lessons from them. Some teachers like to visit beginners and try to make them believe that private lessons with them cut down on tango learning. In my experience, teachers who tell you how much better you could be if only you had a few private lessons with them are usually just after your money. There are no cuts. Save your money for the instructors who are here to enrich your tango experience, not your pockets.
Practice, practice, practice
One of the most important aspects in learning tango is self-practice. If there are weekly practices in your city, choose one or two or three and go. Otherwise, rent a space in a studio or dance in your living room. I have found that regular practice is the most important element in becoming an accomplished tango dancer. It is also a good way to meet other people in the tango community who are more experienced in dancing. They can be a good source of answers to questions.
Finding the greatest tango shoes is part of the fun of dancing. Tango is usually performed in boots with leather soles that fit well on the feet. Strappy shoes for women and lace-up shoes for men are the most common. Women must also wear heeled shoes. In the beginning, open-toed women's shoes and men's buckle boots are usually a disaster. There are boots designed specifically for tango dancers, but the key is to find boots that support your feet, keep your toes from squishing, and are comfortable enough to dance for hours on end. I don't recommend ballroom dancing shoes because they lack support and suede soles.
No matter what shoes you dance in, everyone should add cushions to their shoes. I recommend Spenco pillows because they are incredibly comfortable, resilient and durable. Dr Scholl's foam pillows are fine, but avoid the expensive and useless blue, gel-filled pillows. They seem like a good idea - a waterbed for your feet - but extremely disappointing.
There are actually three tango dances - each with its own music - in Argentine social dance. All three will be performed during the dance evening. The first one is just tango. This is the dance that most people would recognize as tango and the dance that most beginners learn first. His music is typically based on a slow, steady beat of four. The second dance is called the milonga. Milonga is a fast paced dance based on simplified tango steps. It has almost the same rhythm and feel as the polka. Milonga music is historically older than tango music, but the dance itself is actually newer. Milonga is a dance just for fun. The third is the tango waltz, called vals or vals cruzado. The music of the tango waltz is based on the classic 1-2-3 waltz, but in this type of tango, the dancers usually dance in one.
The word "milonga" has three uses in tango. It means (1) milonga dance, (2) milonga dance music, and (3) tango dance party. For you, maybe dance milonga to milonga to milonga. And believe me, it's great!
Styles of Argentine Tango
Argentine tango has different styles that you can hear from people. They will say: "Oh, he is a milonguero dancer" or "She dances in the salon style." Styles are as unique as the dancers and I think it's rather silly to try to categorize them. Just remember that if you hear the terms "salon", "milonguero", "fantasy", or "orillero" then someone is talking about a certain style.
As with any form of art development, it is impossible to try to impose rules. There are new ones every day and dancers find ways to play with them and incorporate them into their dance. In the past few years, styles known as nuevo and liquid have emerged. Who knows what will happen next? All we know is that it will come.
A description of the different styles is presented in the article "Argentine tango and styles".
The history of tango music is as rich and interesting as the dance itself. Tango music in Argentina developed in much the same way as swing music in the United States. It started as simple rhythms played for dancers by orchestras led by some colorful and charismatic bandleaders. Over time, simpler rhythms developed into more complex ones. And finally framed in a large number of jazz-like interpretations, became less suitable for dancing, but became wonderful to listen to.
Tango music is probably most different from other types of music in two ways: the bandoneon and the lack of drums. The Bandoneon is a German instrument that looks and feels like a descendant of the accordion and organ. In fact, the instrument was invented to provide organ-like music to church congregations unable to provide a real organ. Like many immigrants to Argentina, bandoneon found its way into its culture and left an indelible mark on it.
You may also notice that there are no drums in tango music. The beat is preserved in the bass and lower piano registers with (usually) bandoneons, while the violins and upper piano registers provide captivating rhythms.
When you start dancing tango, you will most likely be dancing to the most rhythmic music of the 1940s and 1950s, known as the golden age of tango. Music from the late 1930s is good for learning how to hear the beat and feel the rhythm. As you become more experienced, it becomes very interesting to interpret later music (including modern tango orchestras) with its most modern jazz rhythms.
To develop your understanding of music, you can consult the guide Music for Dancers New to Argentine Tango. It lists CDs well suited for dancers first learning to hear the rhythm of Argentine tango music.
Milonga (tango dance party)
The pure joy of dancing tango is found in the milonga. Milonga refers to a party where tangos, milongas and waltzes are performed.
What is tanda?
In milonga, music is played in sets called "tandas". Usually three or four songs are played by one orchestra, followed by a "cortina" (curtain) that signals the end of the tanda. If you invite someone to dance and they agree, it is supposed to be an invitation to the whole tanda.
Cortinas are interesting little details in milonga. Cortina is unique to every DJ. Some will choose one cortina for the evening, and some will use a different one for each tanda. Some are humorous; some get stuck in the ears; some are just beautiful music. In any case, the cortina is supposed to be a piece of music that people know not to dance. This is a signal for you to smile, say thank you and (possibly) change partners.
Asking someone to dance
In Argentina, men invite women to dance with a look - a certain look, a movement of the head towards the dance floor, or a smile that says, "would you like to dance with me?" This can happen across the room if the eye is caught. If a woman wants to take a dance with a man, she smiles back, and (most importantly) keeps looking at him as he approaches her. The slightest glance to the side is usually interpreted as a signal: "I changed my mind and don't want to dance. " This system is wonderful, but full of pitfalls. What if the inviter is looking at the woman behind you? Did you really see "yes", or maybe "maybe?"
As we participate in this Argentinean art form, the practice of inviting to dance with the gaze is respected to some extent. In many areas of the world, however, you can ask to dance directly or with your best Argentinian look. As with dance, practice makes perfect.
Accept a dance or say "No thanks"
To accept the dance is enough just to say "yes". You can do it with your own eyes - keep an eye on the people who use the Argentine way, or accept a direct invitation.
It's also perfectly acceptable to say, "no, thank you." If you accept the dance, remember that it will probably last until the end of the tanda, which could be three or four songs if you start at the beginning. If either one of you decides that one or two dances is enough, anyone can just say "thank you" and start walking off the dance floor. As soon as you say "thank you" to someone in a polite manner, the dance with that person is over.
As a beginner, you will either be eager to dance with everyone, or you will hesitate to be noticed as a beginner. If you want to dance, go and dance. Just remember that tangos are danced in lines that keep moving and more experienced dancers tend to stay on the outside. If you hesitate, I can guarantee that everyone in the room was a beginner at one time and understands how the experience gets in the way when you look around and see everyone slip when you only know three moves. Even someone who only dances two weeks longer than you will look like they've been dancing for years. I can't explain it, but it always happens that way.
The way to become a good dancer is to present and dance. As Woody Allen once said, "98 percent success is in the presentation."
Useful tango terms
The following terms are often used to describe some of the basic elements of tango:
- adornos - jewelry
- amague - fake
- arrastre - drawing
- barrida - sweeping
- boleo - not translated (a specific movement that can be done high or low)
- caminar - basic walking template tango
- cruzada - cross
- corrida - rhythmic run (walking at an accelerated pace)
- enrosque - twisting movement during turning
- freno - brake (blocking leg)
- gancho - hook (movement type)
- giro - turn
- lapiz - literally means pencil (to draw a circle on the floor)
- mordida - literally means "bite" (used when legs form a sandwich)
- ocho - "eight" (part of the turn)
- parada - stop
- salida - literally means "exit", but in tango it is the main entrance to the dance
- sacada - offset
For a more complete list of terms, see Ed Loomis' Guide to Tango Terminology.
Here is a list of things a beginner should do:
- Know how to ask someone to dance
- Follow the dance line and stay on the line
- Move smoothly
- Keep your balance
- Keep the rhythm (even at the cost of more bizarre steps)
- Know where you and others are on the floor
- Know how to walk, turn around, stop and hold some decorations
- Know how to break a stride to avoid being hit by another pair
- Know how to connect the basic elements to form a dance
- Know how to accept or reject a dance
- Wait for reference
- To go smoothly and well to go to the cross
- Keep your balance
- Keep the beat
- Know about others on the floor
- Know how to walk, turn around, stop and do some decorations
Once you master the items on these lists, you will become an average dancer.